God…:) ONE MORE INSPIRATION MAMA’S!!! “I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.” – Elizabeth Gilbert ON HER QUEST FOR GOD….

February 21, 2015

Organic Treats for Kids

December 1, 2011

Eating organic food is a boon to the environment and personal health, but it can be a chore to get kids to join in willingly. Don’t succumb to fast food and commercial snacks, just try out these easy, healthy, organic treats for kids:

1. Fruit pops
Freeze organic fruit juice for a quick, simple treat. They can be made in a special popsicle tray or plain ice cube trays, where you can add them to a glass of juice. It’s sugar-sweet and great for afterschool snacks, but contains a fraction of the calories and no artificial sweeteners.

2. Peanut butter and apples
It may not seem like a great treat, but organic peanut butter scooped up with a few slices of fresh apple makes a wonderful and filling lunch. It’s full of protein, fiber, and vitamins and you can pair it with graham crackers or a small chunk of semi-sweet dark chocolate.

3. Yogurt
Organic yogurt can be an excellent, easy-to-prepare treat for kids. You can eat it plain, add ice and milk to make a smoothie, or even use it as a dip for fruit. It can even be mixed with granola for a healthy alternative to breakfast cereal.

4. Homemade applesauce
It’s very simple to make applesauce at home from organic apples. Peel, core, and dice a pound of sweet baking apples, such as Honeycrisp, Gala, or Empire, and toss them into a slow cooker with a little bit of sugar and ground cinnamon. After a few hours on high heat, they’ll cook down into a sweet, healthy snack that keeps well in the fridge.

5. Ants on a log
This quick treat has been around for ages, and for good reason. Just slather peanut butter on a celery stick and dot it with raisins for a healthy handheld snack. Kids can get protein, plenty of vitamins from the celery, and lots of iron and antioxidants from the raisins.

6. Granola bars
You can buy or make your own granola bars, a fantastic healthy snack for kids. You can hand them out after school, tuck them into lunch boxes, or even use them to replace fatty breakfast foods. There are dozens of recipes online for baking granola bars, most of which consist of just baking a mix of dried fruit, nuts, and granola with milk and butter.

7. Pita chips and hummus
If your kids aren’t picky eaters, hummus and pita can be a great replacement for salty chips and dip. It can be bought easy or made at home, giving your children the energy they need without the preservatives, salt, and calories.

Guest Post.  Stacey Cavalari is a technology specialist writer for Phoenix kiosk, a Kiosk Manufacturer firm in Tempe, AZ. Phoenix Kiosk specializes in custom kiosks for small to large size organizations.

Encouraging Exercise in Toddlers

November 10, 2011

There is a global trend towards obesity, and this epidemic is worrying to all of us. But the most disturbing fact is that toddlers and younger children are already starting to exhibit signs of being overweight. If this is how a child starts her life, then the likelihood that she will struggle with being heavy throughout her life is far higher. There are a number of reasons for this worrying trend, but thankfully there are solutions that you can implement in order to change or prevent such a situation.

Here are three areas that you can focus on in order to keep your child at a healthy size. It’s a guarantee that they will be healthier as a result.

Nutrition

Growing children do need to take in a high amount of slow-acting carbohydrates and even some sugars to get them through the day, but overfeeding kids and poor diet choices can lead to health issues and obesity at an alarmingly young age. Some baby foods already contain sweeteners and preservatives, which will cause your child harm from the outset. It is advisable to make the baby food yourself once he has reached a certain age. Instead of buying expensive baby puree, why not make it yourself? This way you can regulate exactly what goes into the food, experiment with combinations that baby enjoys, and save money while interacting with your child. Slightly older children will also have the urge for unhealthy foods, and are likely to lash out if they don’t get what they want. You need to assert your authority here, and try to get them on the healthiest diet possible. In time they will grow to enjoy these foods. Try to get them involved in the cooking process – if they feel engaged they will be more likely to eat what is on offer. Emphasizing healthy dietary habits will become a lifelong safeguard against obesity.

Exercise

Once your child is old enough to decide whether they want to play inside or lounge outside, you can start encouraging exercise. Something as simple as playing will help the muscles develop, keep them healthy, and help to keep weight off. Put off the purchase of TV or computer games for as long as possible! A healthy life outdoors will encourage lifelong activity.

Rules

At the end of the day it is still your responsibility to control what your child eats and does. Always take responsibility, lead by example, and make sure that you stick to dietary rules or outdoor guidelines religiously. You will soon see and improvement.

This guest post was written by freelance writer Victoria. She is a mother of two and a huge fan of art.

Natural Tips on Fighting New Mommy Stress—for You and Baby

November 4, 2011

We all suffer from a certain amount of stress in our daily lives. And to a certain extent, stress is a part of normal life. However, if you’re a mom or a caregiver, children can be a handful, especially for new parents and nannies that care for a child the majority of the day.  Stress is actually the body’s physical, mental or emotional reaction to any situational change that requires a response.

Events like these all qualify as stressors:

• A stressful event—i.e., like a crying, fussy child
• Continuous mental or physical strain without relief—i.e., if a sole caregiver never gets a break)
• A muscle stress that you’ve put on your body—i.e., muscle pain from picking up a child without supporting your lower back
• A pressing stress that constantly dominates your thoughts—i.e., worry over a child’s wellbeing
• A stressful reaction due to a dangerous or frightening situation—i.e., having a child involved in a violent relationship
• A tense atmosphere—i.e., concern over a financial situation on top of caring for your child

It’s the effects of long-term, ongoing stress (which is called distress) in situations like those listed above that can seriously affect your health, as well as the health of the child you’re caring for. If you don’t have effective ways of managing stress in a healthy way, it can manifest itself in our bodies and minds in several ways.

How Stress Affects the Health of New Moms & Nannies:

• Tight chest or chest pains
• Migraine headaches
• Stomach upset
• Digestive upset/gas or bloating
• Diarrhea or constipation
• High blood pressure
• Sleeplessness
• Post-partum depression
• Muscle soreness
• Fatigue
• Loss of drive (to have sex, social withdrawal)
• Anxiety attacks
• Mood swings
• Over-eating or under-eating/weight gain or loss

Natural stress relief tips for moms and nannies:

1. Walk it off – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends taking 10 minutes after any stressful situation to clear your head and calm down. A brisk walk reduces repetitive stress to the body as it gets a fresh dose of blood pumping to sore muscles. A walk also encourages you to breathe properly, calms down nerves, burns off excess anxiety, and actually increases productivity for once you return to caring for your child. If you can’t get out of your home, you can also do home-based exercises to beat stress—like yoga, run on a treadmill, use a stationary bike, or just close your eyes and take in a few rounds of deep breathing to slow your heart rate and stress level considerably.

2. Learn to ask for help – Taking on more and more responsibilities—on top of childcare—adds to your stress levels. Everyone needs a break so get in the habit of asking for help when you’re feeling stress. New moms shouldn’t be expected to take on all childcare responsibilities by themselves. Instead, book a babysitter or count on your spouse to look after baby a few nights a week so you can get some exercise or social time. Caregivers should also learn to say no if employers expect too much from them. If you feel too much obligation between childcare and housekeeping, suggest delegating responsibilities by hiring an assistant. This will lessen the pressure on you and let you focus doing the best job you can do.

3. Look at the bright side – Don’t dwell on the negative; instead adopt a positive attitude. Turn your focus to the positive things in your life, such as how lucky you are to have a family that loves you or how fortunate you are to work with children. Positive thinking helps you stay motivated and confident.

4. Eat a healthy, balanced diet – Many people with ongoing stress literally feel it in their digestive tract first. When the brain experiences stress, it interacts with the rest of the body through the nervous system, which regulates the digestion of food. A healthy balanced diet, rich in the following essential nutrients, will keep your digestion and your health on track:

• Magnesium—that essential nutrient for muscle health, keeps your heartbeat and sleep patterns regular with foods like milk and cheese; meat and veggie proteins like eggs, fish, seafood and tofu; as well as whole grains, leafy greens and nuts.
• Amino Acids—regulate mood and brain function as well as fight off stress and mood swings with foods like eggs, meat, fish and beans.
• B Vitamins—support adrenal function, your nervous system and are your essential nutrients in your fight against stress with foods like salmon, beef liver, broccoli, legumes, lentils, corn, soy, citrus fruits, nuts, sunflower seeds and eggs.
• Vitamin C—improves immunity, reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, lowers blood pressure and diminishes the negative symptoms of stress on the body due with its antioxidant properties with foods in the citrus family, melon, mangoes, tomatoes, broccoli, red and green bell peppers, and other green leafy vegetables.

If the stress is already too much—your digestion system may be slow or already compromised. Make an appointment with your doctor to ask about taking prescription medication to treat irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive-related ailments. Often you can use an online Canadian pharmacy buy prescription medications at a cheaper price.

5. Celebrate the small things – Take time to reward yourself for a job well done—as a parent or a caregiver. When you have a good day or you complete a job well done, reward yourself and junior with ice cream, a new book or a massage. Acts in self-caring will keep you motivated and positive.

Guest post by Bernice Spradlin, an avid hiker and runner. She works at a gym in Brooklyn, New York, where she gets great inspiration for her freelance health-related articles and blogs. In her off time, you can often find Bernice jogging the East River path along the waterfront and enjoying the cool breeze. Bernice is currently looking for freelance writing work, and can be contacted at BerniceG.Spradlin@gmail.com

Organic Parenting

November 1, 2011

This guest post was written by Victoria. She is a stay at home mom who is currently working on a project pertaining to Canada Facts and the Canadian Economy.

Everything organic is the rage right now, and the phenomenon has extended into the world of parenting. Organic parents claim that they have healthier, happier children, but what exactly does it entail? And is it any good for your child? This post will look at the ins and outs of organic parenting so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not you can extend the organic lifestyle to your parenting strategy. Bear in mind that there are levels of dedication to the whole organic lifestyle, and they are not of the same ethos or intensity. Where possible, I’ve tried to show the extremes as well as the middle ground so that you can decide where you and your family fit in.

Let’s take a look at three key figures of organic parenting:

Food and Diet
Family Roles
A lifestyle choice

Food & Diet

Organic parents are committed to feeding their children the most natural, varied diet possible. This has some clear health benefits. Some baby foods on the market contain processed products, and if you have an older child, it is scary just how quickly they develop an attraction to unhealthy food. A diet that if higher in raw, healthier foods is obviously a clear solution to this. Introducing healthy foods at a young age is a great idea, and arguably the most important and positive aspect of organic parenting principles.

Family Roles

As the name suggests, organic parenting is a far more naturalized, ancient way of life. This involves a natural diet, and a more “tribal” system of raising children. Here, the mother still has the ultimate influence on her child, but every member of the family has a role to play in educating, entertaining, and helping the child to grow. This more detached system has been around for millennia and has many benefits – children learn respect, mass interaction can aid development and so on – but for many mothers a modern adaptation of this lifestyle is simply too much. Do you want other people raising your child? Although the tribe metaphor is limited by practical boundaries of modernity, the idea that a child is raised by a family is not all that foreign. Think carefully before you take this step.

A lifestyle choice

Like any parenting approach, the organic method of parenthood is likely to affect the lifestyle of your child as they become adults. Do you want them to live in this way? Always take care when making such big decisions.

Three Delicous Healthy Raw Food Recipes

October 28, 2011

Guest post. Recipes developed by raw foodies/sisters Dana Flannery, Website Marketing and Helene McGuffie, Pet Sitting Brisbane Australia.

Thai Pesto

This delicious pesto can be used as a dip, as a Thai Mango Salad dressing, as a topping for raw oysters or in fresh Thai Inspired Spring Rolls.

Ingredients:

1 cup cashew nuts
5 bunches fresh coriander, stems and leaves
3 cloves garlic
1 finger sized piece of ginger
1 small chili
½ tsp fresh ground turmeric
Lime juice to taste
Lemon juice to texture

Method:

Pulverize ginger (or shave frozen ginger)
Grind all other ingredients except lime and lemon juice together
Slowly add lime juice to taste
Add lemon juice until texture is fine paste

Vegan Raw Food Creamy Protein Shake

This is a delicious, completely vegan, completely raw breakfast substitute, ideal for those trying to increase protein intake.

Ingredients:

½ cup fresh cracked macadamia nuts (or cashews or almonds)
1 mango
10 strawberries, hulled
100 gms pineapple
1 ripe pear, peeled and cored
3 tbsp wheat germ
1/3 cup sesame seeds

Method:

Chill all fruit

Using a mortar and pestle, grind sesame seeds to create tahini paste
Grind macadamias (or other nut) to paste consistency
Combine both with wheat germ to form a very thick, creamy paste
Combine all chilled fruits to form a watery juice
Combine with nut paste to create a thick creamy protein shake. Serve cold.

Raw Chinese Lettuce Cups

While not vegetarian, this dish is wonderfully flavorsome and exciting!

Ingredients:

8 iceberg lettuce leaves – large, un-torn
8 shitake or button mushrooms, finely chopped
4 tbsp arabushi (Japanese sun dried fish flakes available from Asian
supermarkets – optional)
2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp fermented soya sauce
1 tbsp verjuice (pressed juice from unripe grapes, available in gourmet food
shops)
1 tsp lemon juice

Method:

Combine all ingredients (except lettuce) to taste and allow to rest in a refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours. Drain off any excess liquid and serve in lettuce leaves.

The Green Living Lifestyle

October 24, 2011

Guest post by Rohitesh Naik, a Freelance writer and a Internet Marketer who presently writes about the Upcoming Verizon Phones.


Whеn it comеѕ to grеen lіvіng, mаnу реоplе may think that tо livе а grеen lіfestуlе уou have tо changе еvеrуthing all at оnсe. This iѕ nоt thе caѕe. Yоu сan grаduаllу eаse уоurself іntо thе greеn livіng lifеѕtуlе one thing аt а tіme. Aftеr аll, еvеn the ѕmаllеst bit оf еffort cаn gо towаrds hеlрing thе еnvirоnment. You саn ѕtart off in small wаyѕ, by rеcyсling рaper, metаl, рlаѕtіcs, glaѕѕ аnd ѕo оn.

This іѕ thе moѕt cоmmon idеa оf thе waу іnto grееnеr lіvіng, аnd iѕ a vеry vаluable еlemеnt іn the јournеу we аrе tаkіng tо a bettеr envіrоnment fоr all to enјоy. Onсе уоu’ve becоmе аcquаіntеd with the іdеа оf reсyclіng vаrіouѕ mаterіаlѕ, yоu сan mоvе оntо vаrіоus othеr wауѕ оf incorpоrаting grееn living іntо yоur оwn lіfestyle.

In thе hоme, you саn mаkе ѕure aррliancеs are turnеd off аt thе wаll and nоt јuѕt lеft on stаndby. Yоu саn rесуclе food wаstе and uѕe іt aѕ соmроѕt tо hеlр your gаrdеn. You can insulate thе hоme ѕо that yоu don’t lоѕе heаt, thus helріng yоu to savе mоnеy оn billѕ as well аs thе еnvirоnmеnt.

You cоuld look in lосal liѕtingѕ fоr any grееn оrgаnіѕаtіоnѕ cloѕе tо yоur home. Thеsе реоplе will bе full of adviсe to helр уоu incоrporatе the grееn livіng lifeѕtylе into уоur daуs, аnd mау wеll bе able to оffеr аdvісe on іѕѕuеs that уou hаd not еvеn thоught оf.

Rеduсе уоur cаrbоn fооtрrint by drіving less and wаlkіng mоrе. Thіѕ haѕ bееn a major iѕѕuе іn thе nеwѕ іn rесent timеѕ, and іѕ a vеry largе раrt оf the сurrent green lіvіng mоvement. Graduаlly, yоu’ll dіѕcоvеr the grееn lifeѕtуlе wіll beсоme sесond naturе tо уоu and that уоu will lоok bаck on the wау уou uѕed tо lіve уоur lіfе and rеаlіѕe just hоw nеgative аn effеct that ѕeеmіngly іnnоcеnt actіvіties сan have on thе envіrоnment аrоund us. Grеen lіvіng аdviсе iѕn’t abоut tеllіng you whаt tо dо — іt’ѕ аbоut helріng уоu underѕtаnd what уou іndivіduаllу can do tо hеlp the wоrld аround уоu.

It’s Easy and Frugal to Be GREEN – 10 Simple Earth Friendly Ideas

October 19, 2011

Guest Post by Kristl Story. Kristl’s tips have been featured in publications like Consumer Reports, All You Magazine and Good Housekeeping. Discover more frugal living tips at TheBudgetDiet.com

Frugal living and green living often go hand in hand. Check out these 10 simple earth friendly ideas that will save you money and save Mother Earth!

  1. The Return of the Clothesline – Start using a clothesline, and you’ll save nearly 6% on your monthly electric bill according to the Department of Energy…plus your house will be quieter & cooler! If your city or homeowners association prohibits clotheslines, your best option is a clothes drying rack (available at Target, Walmart and Bed Bath & Beyond for about $30). I use my drying rack until the clothes are almost dry, and then I pop them in the dryer for about 10 minutes to fluff them up. So, let’s do the math…if your monthly electric bill is $200, your friend the clothesline just saved you about $12 a month & $144 a year!
  2. Burn Calories, Not Gas – Walking or riding bikes is budget friendly, earth friendly and figure friendly…so, what do you have to lose? Maybe a few pounds???? Let’s here it for pedal-power!
  3. Pay Bills Online – Save trees, save stamps, save money!
  4. Find a Farmer’s Market – Discover your local farmer’s market, and your budget will love the prices and you’ll love the fresh taste of just picked organic produce! To find a farmer’s market near you, visit LocalHarvest.org and enter your zip code.
  5. Stop Junk Mail – Save trees, save your sanity! It only takes a minute to visit DMAChoice.org to remove your name from mailing lists for catalogs, insurance offers and more!
  6. Reusable Lunch Containers – Instead of a brown bag, carry a lunch box. Instead of zip top bags, invest in reusable bags. You’ll spend a little money upfront, but you’ll save money in the long run.
  7. Stop Buying Bottled Water – Bottled water has become the American way, and up until two years ago…I was guilty of buying a 24-pack every single week! WOW…that’s $4 a week, $16 a month and $208 a year for WATER! Stop buying bottled water and start buying refillable bottles for your family to take to work, school and sports.
  8. Unplug – Phantom Electricity is the electricity that is used when a device is plugged in but not in use. For example…you leave your cell phone charger plugged in all the time, but you only charge your phone every few days…did you know that your charger is still using electricity when it is plugged in but not charging? This is “Phantom Electricity”, and little bits are being used throughout your home everyday hence the name “phantom.” Wasted electricity is not earth friendly, and wasted electricity is wasting your money!
  9. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle – If you’re not recycling, this is a great week to start! The first step is to have a system and make sure everybody in your family understands it! The Budget Diet girl’s system of 4 bins in your kitchen pantry or under the sink: trash, paper/cardboard, glass, cans & plastics. After a few weeks, recycling will become a habit, and your neighbors will be green with envy when you only have one small bag of trash each week!
  10. Homemade Cleaning Products Make the switch to homemade cleaning products that cost pennies to make and clean just as well without harsh chemicals. Try these recipes for homemade cleaning products.

SAVE MONEY, SAVE MOTHER EARTH!

Why Buy Organics?

October 13, 2011

Guest post by Captain Cook’s Culinary Academy for Kids

In light of the recent findings of arsenic in apple juice in an independent study of Dr. Oz and his associates, I thought it would be a good idea to reiterate, once again, the importance of eating organic food, especially when it comes to feeding your children. In his study of 5 different brands of apple juice, he found that of the brands he tested, none of the organic juices contained unsafe levels of arsenic, while many of the other brands, 10 of the 36 samples, contained unsafe limits. (The “unsafe” limits were determined for our drinking water by the FDA to be over 10 parts per billion). The arsenic levels that were found to be unsafe were in popular brands in which the apple juice concentrates comes from other countries such as China, where arsenic levels are not always regulated and may still be used in pesticides, thus finding its way into the drinking water. There are several debates circulating in the media questioning Dr Oz’s testing methods, as well as the FDA’s response to this matter. Whatever you choose to believe, the moral of the story is…..dont stress about and just buy organic apple juice……

What is organic?  Simply stated, organic products are raised, grown and processed without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics or hormones.

Organics are Better for our Children

Studies show that children are exposed to four times the level of pesticides in food than adults. Pesticides affect children more profoundly due to their higher metabolisms and smaller body mass. According to the National Academy of Science, “neurological and behavioral effects may result from low-level exposure to pesticides.” Numerous studies show that pesticides can adversely affect the nervous system, increase the risk of cancer and decrease fertility. Buying organic foods and products promotes a less toxic environment for our children and all living things.

Organics are Better for our Community

Consumers should consider supporting our local organic farmers and make an effort to buy organic produce, dairy and meats as close to home as possible. The average U.S. grocery store’s produce travels 1500 miles before it reaches your refrigerator. Not only is this a tremendous waste of fossil fuels but also burns up energy because of the refrigeration required to keep foods from spoiling. When you buy local, food is fresher and there is less packaging involved. It also protects our beautiful California farmlands from becoming developed. Buying locally creates a stronger, more sustainable local economy for all of us to live in.

Are Food Labels Misleading?

October 5, 2011

kids

Every mommy wants her children to be healthy and happy, and this is accomplished in so many ways. We make happy kids by building their self-esteem and letting them know how much they are loved. We surround our children with books and games that develop their mind. We take them to the doctor for regular check-ups. But, how often do we think about the food that we are feeding our children every day?

One of my favorite websites, Green Smoothie Girl by Robyn Openshaw, recently exposed some myths about food labels. A couple of the points she shares are:

The “whole grain” label requires only that 51% of the grain be the whole grain. That means 49% of it can (and usually is) bleached, refined white flour. Purchase only food labelled “100% whole grain” instead.

No regulations exist for the term “natural,” so you could technically buy something labeled “natural” made entirely from refined sugar, salt, and lard!

I know that many of you look for food items that are whole grain and natural. Did you know you may not be getting what you thought?

I hope you will visit Green Smoothie Girl to learn more about the food label myths and how you can make sure that your kids are eating the best foods possible for their growing minds and bodies.